Landowner a tower of support

A LANDHOLDER to be most affected by a proposed 40-metre-high communications tower on Flagstaff Mountain has thrown his “whole-hearted” support behind the project and waived any right to compensation.

Bill Gore has lived on Eloura Rd, Daruka, for the past 22 years and says he is willing to cop whatever impacts the tower and other infrastructure has on his property for the “common good”.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has lodged a development application with Tamworth Regional Council for the construction of the tower to enable a switch from analogue to digital communications.

The location, at the top of the Kamilaroi Walking Trail, was chosen to ensure the signals emanating from the tower – to be used by both the RFS and NSW Police – did not face interference.

Tamworth RFS zone manager Allyn Purkiss told The Leader this week that the move to a digital signal would increase range by about 20 per cent and eliminate black spots that have the potential to cause problems during incidents.

Council is concerned the tower will have a “significant impact” on the visual amenity of the popular spot and is calling for residents to have their say before the application goes to a vote.

However, Mr Gore, who if the project goes ahead will have the tower’s power supply and associated poles and wires located on his property, said he had no issues with its proposed location.

“Ever since the project was first mooted, I have been of the opinion that anything that can be done to improve communications for our emergency services should be done,” Mr Gore said.

“Accordingly, (I) have not sought any compensation for the use of our land for this critical infrastructure.

“I have waived compensation on the grounds that should the slightest wisp of smoke be sighted anywhere on the Flagstaff Range that the firies jump on it.”

After viewing the development application, Tamworth Bushwalking and Canoe Club president Kerry Lowe expressed concern that the tower would ruin the mountain’s “best view”.

He said he would write to council on behalf of the club to propose the tower be shifted a small distance to reduce its impact on the view.

But Mr Gore, 61, said he thought the club was being “rather selfish” and did not consider the suggestion feasible.

“Regarding Kerry Lowe’s suggestion that the tower be moved 40m to the north, after consulting a topographical map, I fail to see his point as it may well affect the tower’s function,” he said.

“I wholeheartedly support the construction of this tower as it is for the common good.”

The development application is on public exhibition until July 28.

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